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BUYING GUIDE - LOUDSPEAKERS - £1500+
PRICES SHOWN ARE THOSE AT THE TIME OF REVIEW
Loudspeakers
£
Year
Verdict
Audiovector 6 £4600 Jun 95 If you have enough room and money the 6s are capable of a highly musical, involving performance.
BKS 107 MkII £1500 Dec 98 The 107 Mk2s may look slim but they have a solid sound and are fabulously revealing.
Cadence ES £3500 Sep 95 Interesting design that incorporates an electrostatic tweeter. An impressive sound but an inconsistent performer.
Celestion A3 £1800 May 97 The A3s are quite simply superb. All you'll need to enjoy them is a large enough listening room.
Cyrus Icon £2500 Jul 01 Highly recommended with a detailed, open and smooth sound. These NXT world firsts are an excellent addition to the hi-fi market both sonically and technologically.
Diapason Adamantes III £1999 May 02 Not cheap but superbly built and fine looking. The sound won't be to everybody's taste but is sweet and favours acoustic music.
Elac Jet 330 £2500 Jul 00 Great build and a clean, neutral sound with superb treble. Not cheap though.
Epos ES25 £1505 May 95 An extremely coherent and focussed sound; these are true audiophile speakers. Captivating with classical music.
Final Electrostatic £N/A Jun 00 A civilised open sound with oodles of space to the sound. Could integrate a little better.
Final Electrostatic 0.2 &
Final 10 Sub Woofer
£1875 Jan 02 Very different to the usual sub/sat sound. This is an airy, spacious and civilised sound, but it doesn't come cheap.
Harbeth HLS8 £1999 Mar 97 Glassy clarity, bright treble, with bass that comes alive when given welly. Expensive though.
Heybrook Octet £1800 Jul 98 The Octets are smooth, laid-back floor standers. Lack speed and transparency.
Jamo Concert 11 £2000 Dec 97 A worthy bigger brother for the Concert 8s, with a fast, transparent and even sound.
Jamo Concert 8 £1500 Jun 97 The Concert 8s are superbly clean and transparent. Their nature will show up any source shortcomings.
JBL S2600 £3500 Jul 96 Smooth, detailed and spacious with great scale and imaging. Capable of producing a real performance.
Kef Reference 3 £2000 Nov 95 For superb reproduction within large rooms, the 3s are a force to be reckoned with.
Kef Reference 4 £3099 Oct 96 Superb bass and near-electrostatic soundstaging make these involving 'speakers a bargain.
Kef Reference
Three-Two
£2250 May 01 A big hitter of a loudspeaker, but with true Reference qualities. Smooth, detailed and impressive, if not perfect.
Linn Katan &
Linn Sizmik
£1595 Jan 02 When properly set up this combination delivers a cohesive and well balanced sound. Good with rhythm and speed.
Linn Komri £25000 Mar 02 Incredible in so many respects, the Komri's let any music sound quite sublime.
Living Voice Auditorium  £1500 May 99 Their strengths suggest a Classical 'speaker but they suit electronic compositions better. Rich tone but loose bass.
Living Voice Avatar £2500 Mar 02 Big sounding and highly detailed, the Avatars are a winner. Your wouldn't or shouldn't want more at this price.
Naim Allae £1990 Feb 02 Match with care and you'll get an incredibly powerful and engaging sound, with surprising sophistication. Fine value.
Proac Studio 150 £1500 Mar 99 Musically engaging but the tall ProAc's brightness suits them best for smooth valve amplification.
Quad ESL-988 £3500 Dec 00 Partner with suitable amplification and the 988s offer the unmistakable transparancy of an electrostatic coupled with a firm hold on rhythm and bass. The bizzo!
Quad ESL 989 £4600 Jan 01 The 989s play music like no other. Open and neutral. The sound is detailed, revealing, ruthless with bad material, but downright marvellous otherwise.
Red Rose Music Rosebud £2999 Aprr 02 One of the finest standmounts you'll find, with deep bass and a very spacious sound. However, the high price could be a hurdle.
REL Stadium III
Sub Woofer
£1500 Jun 01 Providing earth shaking and taut bass as well as subtly and breath, the Stadium III is a winner.
Slate Audio Stormforce £8000 Feb 99 The best home for a reflex-loaded Tannoy dual-concentric, but they don't come cheap!
Spendor SP7/1 £1970 Jan 95 Gorgeous looking. Listening becomes an enjoyable experience, full of surprises from subtleties. 
Spendor SP9/1 £3400 Apr 96 One of the clearest and most expressive loudspeakers you'll ever find for a large room. Easy to drive, too.
Tannoy AMS8 £2702 Aug 96 Bold, powerful sound with solid bass, focussed midrange and delicious treble. Well worth tracking down.
Tannoy D900 £3999 Sep 97 £4000 may be a lot to pay for a pair of 'speakers, but the Tannoys deliver to great effect in all areas. 
Tannoy TD8 £4500 Nov 01 Very fine 'speakers, with great build and a true reference sound. Not the lowest bass around but the midrange is beautifully detailed and open and treble superb.
Technics SB-M1000 £1500 Nov 96 Materially excellent value. Sound clean and extended but can lack involvement.
Thomas Transducers Brio £4750 Feb 95 Capable of producing a captivating performance of lifelike proportions with a great air of naturalness.
Thomas Virtuoso Gold £3395 May 98 Impressive horns that combine lightness of touch with power and clarity.
Vandersteen 2Ce Signature £1999 Aug 02 Highly enjoyable sounding with deep bass and a fast neutral sound. May not be everyone's cup of tea but highly recommended for audition.
Velodyne HGS-12 £2125 Apr 02 Supertight, well damped and gutsey sound makes it a top performer, but you'll have to pay for the privlidge.
Wilson Benesch Arc £2000 May 02 Superbly designed and super clean sounding, the Arcs are a fine 'speaker but need to be carefully matched to avoid sonic sterility.
Wilson Benesch Discovery £5500 Jun 01 Amazingly detailed and open with a deep and tight bass, sweet treble and wonderful integration. The Discovery is simply one of the best 'speakers currently available.
Zingali Overture .3 £1395 Jul 00 Something of an oddity but very entertaining, with beautiful looks. They are recording-fussy - stick to orchestral and well-recorded rock.
 

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